Did you know you can gain an acknowledged qualification and hands-on experience by studying automotive courses in Australia? After completing these courses, you can become a mechanic who services, diagnoses and repairs faults of passenger cars, light or/and heavy trucks. The high chance of getting a job post-graduation and the affordable tuition fees are key features making automotive courses in high demand among international and domestic students in Australia. Some courses are even fully enrolled before the scheduled commencement date.  

Here is key information about studying automotive in Australia – the course options, skills assessment and PR options that you need to know! 

Why study automotive courses in Australia?

Owning a vehicle to commute can be essential, especially if you are living in Australia. In fact, almost 8 out of 10 Australian adults own a motor vehicle, ranking Australia 6th in the world in the number of vehicles per capita. Australians are also well known for well taking care of their motor vehicles, resulting in the strong development of automotive services.  

The majority of motor vehicles in Australia are imported from overseas. Mechanical service centers or local garages are often the first point and also the last point of calls when something goes wrong with the vehicle. For this reason, the demand for skilled personnel who checks, maintains and ensures private and commercial vehicles working well is always high. According to the Australian Government’s job outlook service, 23,000 jobs will be opened for qualified mechanics in the next 5 years, but employers find it challenging to hire an appropriate skilled Australian. This occupation, therefore, is listed consistently in the skilled occupation list for immigration to Australia.  

Another reason why Australia is one of the most favourite destinations for international students to study automotive is that they are normally allowed to work up to 40 hours per fortnight. Due to the serious shortages of the labour force, the work hour cap has been even relaxed until 30th June 2023, which means students can work more than 40 hours fortnightly in any sector of the economy. With a career that requires hand on experience like mechanic, actual working time in the industry is beneficial and necessary. It helps raise students’ confidence and prepares them to quickly catch up with tasks and duties once employed.  

What are automotive courses for international students in Australia?

As moto mechanics usually work on internal combustion engines and related mechanical components which are complex, they should undertake one of the approved automotive courses. These courses in Australia comprise of automotive lectures, laboratory instructions and at least two years of on-the-job training. You can study at TAFE or at a number of other private colleges. However, most students prefer to study at TAFE as it is a government-owned education provider with cutting-edge equipment and the most modern facilities. There are two different automotive courses that can be taken by international students.  

  1. Light Vehicle Courses – these courses equip students with underpinning knowledge and skills to become a qualified light vehicle mechanic. Relevant courses include:
  • Certificate III in Light Vehicle Mechanical Technology + Certificate IV in Automotive Mechanical Diagnosis  
  • Certificate III in Light Vehicle Mechanical Technology + Certificate IV in Automotive Mechanical Overhauling  
  • Certificate III in Light Vehicle Mechanical Technology + Certificate IV in Automotive Management  
  • Certificate III in Light Vehicle Mechanical Technology + Certificate IV in Automotive Mechanical Diagnosis + Diploma of Automotive Technology  


  1. Heavy Vehicle Courses – these courses provide students with essential knowledge, skills and experience to become a heavy commercial vehicle technician, a heavy vehicle mechanic or diesel motor mechanic. Relevant courses include:
  • Certificate III in Heavy Commercial Vehicle Mechanical Technology  

After successfully completing this course, you are allowed to work on servicing and repairing heavy vehicle like buses, trucks, tractors, earth-moving equipment, and other farming machines.  

What are the entry requirements for international students to study automotive courses?

To get into one of the above programs, you must meet both Academic and English entry requirements. With Certificate III and Certificate IV, you need to complete Year 10 or equivalent. For Diploma of Automatic Technology, completing Year 12 or equivalent is required. However, no background is needed to enroll into these courses.  

For international students, you also need to prove your English proficiency to study and work in Australia. Most schools require an IELTS overall score of 5.5 with no sub-band below 5.0. If you do not have the English score required, the English pathway program is an option for you. Many schools offer English programs together with automotive courses. If you pass these English programs, you do not need to sit in an IELTS test.

How much does it cost to study automotive courses in Australia?

Studying automotive courses in Australia is affordable. The tuition fee ranges from $5000 to $30,000 depending on the school’s reputation, technologies taught, equipment provided and the study duration. Many international students choose the package that includes both Certificate III and Certificate IV because it provides them with more advanced skills to identify and repair complex faults of both petrol and diesel engines.

How to become a qualified mechanic in Australia?

To become a moto mechanic, an Australian can learn and accumulate experience by himself. However, to stay and work in Australia, international students must get the training from one of the approved colleges, and then make a transition from an apprentice to certified mechanic. This process may take up to 4 years.  

Step 1: Study automotive courses   

Completing Automotive Certificate III and Certificate IV provides you with essential knowledge and skills for your future career development. Currently, many innovative technologies have been integrated in cars and trucks. If you are not well prepared, you may face difficulties in detecting and repairing problems of the vehicle. Bear in mind that you must finish at least 2 years of study in order to stay and work in Australia after graduation.  

Step 2: Get at least one year of working experience  

After completing your study, you need to work at least one year in the local garage or service centers to be eligible for a skill assessment designed for an automotive mechanic.  

Step 3: Pass the skill assessment   

Once you pass a full Skill Assessment via Trade Recognition Australia (TRA), you will be qualified as a mechanic. However, what should you do to get a positive skill assessment? Find out the answers in the next section. 

What is the best place to study automotive in Australia?

The best place to study automotive in Australia can vary based on your specific needs and location. However, several institutions are renowned for their automotive courses and training programs:  

Contact our Education Counsellors today on 07 3003 1899 or [email protected] to know which course is the best for you. Our team will provide you with free consultation and free admission process.  

How to pass a skill assessment for a motor mechanic in Australia?

Skills Assessment for automotive occupation is assessed by the TRA and this is a key stage that you will need to complete if you want to be a certified mechanic and stay longer in Australia. To pass the skill assessment, you need to undergo four steps as below:  

Step 1 – Job Ready Program Registration and Eligibility (JRPRE)  

You must:   

  • have a qualification directly related to your nominated occupation that was awarded by the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) as a result of studies in Australia   
  • The assessment fee for this step is $200.  
  • From 15 July 2022: JRPRE will no longer require for Automotive students to be eligible to apply Graduation Visa (subclass 485) Graduate Work Stream. However, this stage is still required if you would like to apply for Skill Nomination Visas (subclass 190, 189, 491) or Employer Sponsored Visas (subclass 186, 494). This regulation is a temporary change, and it will be eligible for students who graduate before 30 June 2023.    

Step 2 – Job Ready Employment (JRE)   

You must:   

  • complete at least 1725 hours of paid employment over a minimum of 12 months from your JRE start date   
  • find suitable employment that is approved by Trades Recognition Australia  
  • have completed a Skills Progress Report (self-assessment record of the skills and activities you have undertaken in your workplace as you develop your skills in your occupation) six months after your JRE start date or when you are deemed eligible for Step 3 (see below for details)   
  • The assessment fee for Job Ready Employment is $450. 

Step 3 – Job Ready Workplace Assessment (JRWA)   

You must:    

  • provide evidence of paid employment in your occupation for at least 863 hours over a minimum of 6 months from your JRE start date   
  • provide an acceptable Skills Progress Report (SPR), Employment Verification Report (EVR) and any other required evidence confirming you are performing the expected tasks and duties to a suitable standard for your occupation.   
  • have your employer sign your EVR and confirm they agree to the assessment being conducted at your workplace   
  • You must pay $2540 for the assessment fee.  

Step 4 – Job Ready Final Assessment (JRFA)   

You must:   

  • have a successful Job Ready Workplace Assessment (JRWA) outcome   
  • have completed the employment requirements of Job Ready Employment (JRE) by providing evidence of paid employment in your occupation of at least 1725 hours over a minimum of 12 months from your JRE start date  
  • The fee for Job Ready Final Assessment Review is $65. 

A positive skill assessment is compulsory to apply for a PR, but the process of getting it is relatively complicated. Contact SOL Edu and Migration today and we will prepare everything for you! 

What is the Permanent Residency (PR) pathway for a motor mechanic in Australia?

After completing at least 2 years of Automotive studies in college or TAFE, you will be eligible to apply for a 485 visa (Graduate Work stream). While holding a 485 visa, you will have time to prepare for a Permanent Resident visa. For example, you will need to complete the skills assessment assessed by TRA as it is a mandatory requirement for all skilled visas.  There are several visa options under the Motor Mechanic occupation that can lead to Permanent residency in Australia. Below are the examples: 

  • 186 – Employer Nomination Scheme visa (subclass 186) 
  • 189 – Skilled Independent (subclass 189) – Points Tested 
  • 190 – Skilled Nominated (subclass 190) 
  • 491 – Skilled Work Regional (provisional) visa (subclass 491) – State or Territory nominated 
  • 491 – Skilled Work Regional (provisional) visa (subclass 491) – Family Sponsored 
  • 482 – Temporary Skilled Shortage (subclass 482) – Medium Term Stream 
  • 494 – Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (provisional) (subclass 494) – Employer sponsored stream 

For the 189, 190 and 491 visa subclasses, you will need to have a minimum of 65 points under the Skilled Migration Points Test. For the 186, 482 and 494 visa subclasses, these are not points test based but you need to have a sponsor and are usually required to have at least 2-3 years of experience in the nominated occupation you are wishing to apply. 

If you would like to know more about specific courses and migration information, please feel free to send us an enquiry. Our professional staff will try to contact you within 24 hours. 


How to get a vocational placement for mechanic?

When enrolling in an automotive course, your chosen training organisation will organise a placement for you. However, you can get an placement on your own by approaching your local garages/car service centers or looking at job advertisement websites. You can get paid when doing placement if you successfully negotiate with your employer.  

Can I become a mechanic without qualifications?

Yes, you can find amateur mechanics repairing vehicles in local garages or repair shops across Australia. However, self-taught mechanics may find it challenging to investigate and repair complex, high-tech systems integrated in vehicles. Most car services centers/companies therefore prefer to hire qualified mechanics to ensure that their employees can deal with every type of vehicles, both modern and traditional.  

For international students, taking the automotive courses may be compulsory if they want to stay and migrate to Australia under skilled occupation visa streams.

What are some of the tools an automotive mechanic uses?

Automotive mechanics work with common hand tools like wrenches, sockets and ratchets. They also work with power tools such as pneumatic wrenches, welding torches, jacks and hoists. 

Do I need to buy mechanical tools when studying automotive courses?

Normally, your training organisation will provide you with all necessary automotive tools and equipment. However, buying your own tools is beneficial for your career in the future. A qualified mechanic with his own tools who is subcontracting can be paid from $35 – $45 per hour while a mechanic without his own tools who is employed by vehicle service centers can be paid roughly $30 per hour. 

How much can a motor mechanic earn in Australia?

The average salary of an automotive mechanic is $64,239 AUD and has an average hourly rate of $32.94 AUD. According to, the entry level for a mechanic starts at about 60,000 AUD, however an experienced worker can earn up to $75,986 annually. 

What are PR points for a moto mechanic in Australia?

For the 189, 190 and 491 visa subclasses, you will need to have a minimum of 65 points under the Skilled Migration Points Test to be considered for a visa invitation. However, the PR points for moto mechanics can be higher depending on the competitiveness and visa subclass that you are applying for.